We were back at the wonderful MC Motors for our second Miss Aniela Production Shoot Experience. Again, we invited a group of photographers, ranging from amateurs to pros and everything in between, for an all-day creative indulgence in the 6,000 sq/ft prop-laden utopia.
Check out the new, behind the scenes video of this shoot!
We shot with 5 new models, the creations of 2 costume designers Wolfgang Jarnach and Marina Brenere, and a creative team of 2 hair stylists and 2 make-up artists, plus a stylist and 2 assistants. A big team, which we kept well fed and watered!
This time we had the brand-spanking new Photoflex TritonFlash, 2 kits, as well as their constant lighting. I enjoyed shooting with these as I’m using flash more, and in demystifying it, I’m finding it less of a burden, but a compliment to my work when used as it should be used: subtlely. Still need much more practice though, as my eye tends to switch to natural light by default! These softboxes are so easy to assemble, and the battery so small and light, that the prospect of using them should be much more appealing than my previous brushes with cumbersome equipment…
Below is the flash in action on a shot of Cipriana.
We still used natural light on several shots, as the location is great when the sun streams through the skylighted roof. The LitePanels, along with regular reflectors, were an effective way of bouncing the light back to the subject, as you can see for my shot below of Grace.
Thirdly, another of our lighting set-ups was shooting with continuous lighting – which had its perks, being able to see what you’re shooting straight to the eye. Below: shooting Claudia with the StarLite QL constant lights, on the hanging basket chair, one of the exciting props in the venue. Being tungsten lights, a change in white balance settings was in order, which made all the difference.
We had photographers from Malta, Qatar and Norway over for the shoot. Amongst the group was a press photographer Ian who was keen to step out of his norms and do something creative with models and scenery, at his own leisure, for once!
At the moment I am amidst my Phase One ‘challenge’ so I was using both my Phase One 645DG and P40+ back, as well as my DSLR, to shoot. I’ll be making some comparisons in my blog post to come later, but it was quite a pressured environment to make any exacting conclusions.
Shooting as a participant myself, I personaly find that I like the darker, more painterly shots most from this location. Having shot there twice now, I am starting to get a feel for the place in terms of what I am drawn to the most (last time my bathtubs shots were the ones that ended up being my favourites: again, low-key and moody.)
Above: Zane in the top room, wearing one of Marina Brenere’s designs. Below is model Bella wearing Wolfgang Jarnach’s clothing.
I had the advantage of being able to shoot two models at once, as we were a couple of photographers short (every cloud!) This was a fantastic chance for me to face the task of positioning two people together which is quite tricky when it comes to it. My personal favourite shots I did on the day involved a rather impromptu set-up (above and below) with models Grace and Cipriana just outside the gents’ loos… see below.
I thought the models were a dream to work with, and we had great feedback about them from the other photographers too. I am usually quite pleased with my model choice but there was something particularly striking about their mannerisms in their posing on this one. Sticking together Grace and Cipriana (above) or Cipriana and Zane (below) seemed to work so well. They were stout professionals that I felt could deliver a true model ‘performance’ to keep you going, something all photographers need! My only challenge was relaying their talent through my photography skills!
All our photographer participants work autonomously on the day, and spend the day fulfilling their own whims and ideas (even the nervous ones soon thaw out after the initial shooting!) However, afterwards I like to send through movie tutorials detailing my process to the kind of fashion material I shoot at these events. I hope this goes toward inspiring and helping the participants with tools and considerations they might not have put into place before. Those tutorials cover RAW workflow in Capture One, through to airbrushing, enhancements and corrections in Photoshop. I also do some crazier things like stitching panoramas, and, as below in my image of Zane, a spot of HDR merging with auto-bracketed shots. This enabled me to shoot against the light of the lamp in this way.
You can check out more shots in my Facebook album.
Above: Zane checking out the very talented (and octopus-eating) Jon Jacobsen in my book!
Here’s the full team list, thanks to all involved!
Big thanks to Matt for being a multi-tasking, problem-extinguishing, photographer-herding, all round managerial genius of everything from lighting to catering.
Models: Claudia Guo, Bella Grace, Zane, Cipriana Sequeira, Grace Gray
Costume designers: Marina Brenere, Wolfgang Jarnach, NatarGeorgiou
Make-up artists: Ania Gastol, Ezme Thomas Hairstylists: Hellie Last, Tati Zarubova
Stylist: Andria Aletrari
Assistants: Carole Issekya and Monika Gorka
Our next Production Shoot is happening on Sat 14th May and we’re again at MC Motors. We’ve also set summer dates for two new venues. You can read more about the events (prices and other info) here.